When my Nan got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a little over a year ago, our entire family took it very hard. Both Nan and Pop are in their 80’s and live in a retirement home. Its a place where high functioning senior citizens can live when cooking and cleaning and regular upkeep of a house is just too much for them. They meet with other peers in the dining room each mealtime. No worries about having to wash dishes. They are free to come and go as they please. Some of their friends living there still have a car and drivers’ license. Its not a place where you will find people with severe dementia. Nor will you see people being hand fed their meals or wheeled to a room to be bathed. The people there are all able to do these things on their own.
So when Nan got diagnosed, our immediate thoughts were related to her home. Will she have to move out of her current place? Will we have to move her into a long term care facility? And what about Pop? How will this affect him? Thankfully, when she got diagnosed last year her main symptoms involved some minor short term memory loss here and there. Aside from that she was fine.
Oh yes. I failed to mention that Nan is also legally blind. Sometimes I forget that part because she’s been blind for the majority of my adult life and I’m so used to it now. Despite her blindness, Nan continued on with her life, doing things no one ever thought could be possible without your sight. But she did it anyways. As they’ve gotten older both my grandparents have come to depend on each other more and more. Just recently Pop began using a walker to help him get around because of extreme weakness in his legs. Nan holds on to one side and off they go together, side by side.
But this diagnosis has changed things. At first it was ok because there were no big symptoms. But over the past 3 weeks its like a switch went off in Nan’s brain and she is going downhill. Fast. The family has been called in several times because she became so upset and no one could get her to calm down. She is hallucinating now. Today my aunt and uncle are there with her. She says she keeps seeing this group of women who keep standing around her, crowding in on her, standing over her. And they are laughing. She said that one of the women has a flashlight that she keeps shining in her eyes and she randomly covers her face with her arms to block it out.
My new counselor wants me to think of topics to discus and focus our sessions on.
Like …. what??
I don’t know what living a balanced life feels like. When I am sad I don’t cry, I pour. When I am happy I don’t smile, a glow. When I am angry I don’t yell, I burn. The good thing about feeling in extremes is when I love I give them wings. But perhaps that isn’t such a good thing either because they always tend to leave me and you should see me when my heart is broken. I don’t grieve, I shatter.
I can’t stand a lot of different kinds of dirty, and a dirty bathroom is the worst. A filthy house gives me a sense of physical desperation akin to claustrophobia. It feels as if chaos is raining down on me. Like I’m drowning under piles of trash. As if the earth itself has vomited all over me.
I know it’s crazy and that it’s the OCD talking. No. I am not drowning in trash. Garbage gets taken out every day. Yes. There is dog fur. I have 2 dogs so there is not a day where there’s no fur somewhere. There’s a layer of dust on the baseboard heater. I noticed it at 3:30am when I was cleaning up from yet another late night binge and purge session, which has been a regular occurrence this week.
I am so tired. Exhausted really. If I slow down or sit for a bit, I find myself nodding off within minutes. But let me lie down and get comfy so I can have a decent rest, and immediately I’m back on high alert.
Thoughts screaming around in my head, shouting demands at me to dust the heater. Or wipe the puppy nose prints off the window, so they can smear it all up again.
There’s no end. I hurt. Physically. I feel everything I do is done in vain because I have to keep doing it over and over. I want a clean house. And I want to curl up with Netflix and watch all day long without having to lift a finger to clean anything. A day for me.
I feel so awful for even saying that. Its selfish to want it all about me.
God, I am such a loser.
So, my brain is about to explode. My hubby’s 30th birthday is this Saturday and I want to make him a cake. The problem? I can’t bake. Like seriously. I can cook lots of things. I cook supper for my husband every evening. And mostly I make good meals. But baking? With flour and butter and sugar? I have never been able to create anything even remotely decent. So for me to want to make a birthday cake? Its almost laughable.
But I really want to try. What kind? Well, I have a Chocolate cake mix up in the cupboard. So I guess it will be Chocolate. I have to figure out how to make icing and how to decorate it.
Any suggestions are welcome!
Warrior Princess because I’ve had enough defeat.
Warrior Princess because I’m no longer okay with feeling discouraged.
Warrior Princess because I’m tired of my beauty getting slammed and slandered by life’s disappointments.
Warrior Princess because it breaks my heart to see all of the lies I let myself believe.
If I am truly the daughter of a King than there is better out there for me than settling for all of this repeated darkness.
And there’s more out there for you too!!